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I cannot find a Paris 101 thread to start my trip prep!

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I cannot find a Paris 101 thread to start my trip prep!

Old Sep 6th, 2005, 03:52 AM
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I cannot find a Paris 101 thread to start my trip prep!

I have just been informed that I will be traveling to France for work in October. I am very excited since this would be my first time in France. I am a heavy planner, but I had not anticipated this trip and find myself lost as to where to start! This afternoon I will head out to the bookstore and purchase a few guides (suggestions pls!!)I will probably manage to take a few days off to visit Paris!

Is there a 'benchmark' Paris trip report in Fodor's for a first timer? Many of the 'superthread' style postings are geared towards the repeat traveler that is looking for special, hidden things to do and they are not very helpful to me.

Is there a French/Paris thread or guide equivalent to Maribel's guide for Spain?
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Old Sep 6th, 2005, 04:15 AM
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I don't think that there's one thread, but you should take a look at the Superthread anyway:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34519236

Elaine maintains a big file for Paris, which you can e-mail her for. I don't know of other resources specific to this forum but other posters will chime in, I'm sure.

I'd start with a guidebook.
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Old Sep 6th, 2005, 04:16 AM
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http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34519236
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Old Sep 6th, 2005, 04:32 AM
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Hi M,

Also check the miniguide to Paris under "destinations".

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Old Sep 6th, 2005, 05:02 AM
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Recommending anything less than a full-length (guide) book (or other "picture book", especially, from the travel and tourism section)... on Paris is doing you a big disservice. Your local library or major bokstore has several. Read one cover to cover, like a novel.

I doubt that we can "suggest" a guidebook to you anymore than we can suggest clothes, or a meal to you. Give your self an hour; browse; skim read; visit the library and take four, with the goal of utimately buyig one or two (more current edition at the bookstore, in many cases).

A 10- 20- or 30- page "file" or overview... from the internet... is a supplement at best.

Best wishes,

Rex
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Old Sep 6th, 2005, 05:52 AM
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I recommend reading the Polly Platt books, "Savoir Flair" and "French or Foe". She writes about the nuances of cultural differences and perspectives, especially directed at those who will live and work in France, but helpful even for the casual tourist.
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Old Sep 6th, 2005, 10:08 AM
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My standard guidebooks for Paris are the Michelin Green Guide to Paris and the Eyewitness Guide to Paris. The combination will give you a good deal of useful information, particularly for seeing the various neighborhoods and sights without backtracking.
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Old Sep 6th, 2005, 10:36 AM
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marigross: Lucky you! I like the Eyewitness Top Ten guide to carry with me. It is small and contains a lot of info in a very simple, clear format.
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Old Sep 6th, 2005, 10:41 AM
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Here's another vote for the Eyewitness Guide. Terrific maps in back. Might I also recommend the Streetwise Paris Map to carry along too, for those times you don't want to schlep your guidebook.
If you're a budget traveler, Let's Go Paris is good for finding hotels and restaurants.
 
Old Sep 6th, 2005, 10:41 AM
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I ahte to say it here but the book I found best for Paris was Frommers Paris.
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Old Sep 6th, 2005, 12:17 PM
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Thanks to all for your replies! I had made a mistake (I linked into a link) the first time I opened the Paris Superthread so I had missed a lot of the info in there.

In this case I will be on a VERY TIGHT budget since I just returned in June from a three week vacation in Spain (BTW the very long trip report has been posted as proof that I have done my Fodorite duty).

This would trip would be an add-on to a business trip and I refuse to let the opportunity go by. DH is scrambling trying to get a FF ticket and if he can't, then I guess I will be joining the Fodor's army of Solo Female Travelers. (Would be sad being in Paris without him...and he speaks French while I do not )

I have NO idea of where to stay in Paris. Which arrondisment(sp?)is better than the other and why? Normally I would be analyzing this matter for months before I had to make a decision!!!

I know that on a budget I will not be able to stay at a prime location but I do not want to be out in the dumps either. In this case a good, clean room with a decent private bathroom and a good metro station nearby will have to do.

I have three weeks (loaded with business prep work) to research and plan....not nearly enough.
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Old Sep 6th, 2005, 12:21 PM
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Well, Tiquetonne is my default Paris hotel. It's very central and very cheap. 50 euros for a double.

But you may be concerned about the lack of a 24-hour front desk (being a woman -- safety could be an issue, etc.).

I like the hotel very much and I've written about it here many times. I've stayed there three times, most recently in July. They put me in a single (40 euros) which was a little depressing, but I quickly warmed up to it (I had to leave at 5:30 in the morning to catch a train for London anyway).

You get a private bathroom.
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Old Sep 6th, 2005, 12:45 PM
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I read your Spain trip report. I found it to be great fun. You got me thinking of expanding my travel plans to Spain.

As a first timer to Paris, I think you would enjoy staying on the 5th, 6th or 7th arrondissements.

As to hotels, I am sure you will find one to meet your budget in these areas. I think the experts will want to know a little bit more about the actual $$ you are willing to spend.

I remember you enjoyed eating well in Spain. I am sure if you do your homework with restaurants in Paris, you’ll have a great experience.

Why didn’t I get a job that would send me to Paris for a meeting? Hmm.
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Old Sep 6th, 2005, 12:47 PM
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I second the suggestion of the 5th or 6th. Check Let's Go for budget hotels.
 
Old Sep 6th, 2005, 01:52 PM
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This budget hotel has good comments on Tripadvisor and is very centrally located in the 5th:

http://www.hotel-paris-commerce.com/

Rooms are 29-99€, depending on what arrangement you want...
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Old Sep 6th, 2005, 02:01 PM
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There's a Zen Center in Paris that rents rooms. I haven't stayed there; this is just from my research.
http://maisonzen.com/
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Old Sep 6th, 2005, 03:37 PM
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Definitely get the Streetwise Paris map as it will take you in detail everywhere. I would recommend getting Rick Steves' Paris guidebook as he hits the highlights and has walks covering a lot of territory. Granted it's not in detail as to history but certainly fine for a few days.

Eating or drinking in cafes is so easy for a single person. You won't feel uncomfortable at all and may strike up a few conversations.

You might also like an apt (a studio) for you (but fine for 2)for a few days. Check out rentparis.com from whom I rented for a month (2 of the weeks on my own). With what you save in not eating out all the time, this could be the answer to budget travel.

I stayed in the 7th on rue Duvivier a block from the market street rue Cler (very safe and comfortable and a couple of blocks from the metro) and friends stayed in the Marais area (another favorite of mine).

Feel free to e-mail with any questions. Nancy
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Old Sep 7th, 2005, 05:22 AM
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I think that I can afford hotels up to 100E a night right now without breaking the bank.

I will have Friday to Sunday afternoon in Paris, off to work in Strasbourg (lots to see as well in that area if work doesnt iterfere too much ) and will return to Paris on Thursday, staying until Tuesday. So that gives me 8 usable days in the city.

I guess that I can try two different hotels. Maybe go cheap-cheap on one and not-so-cheap on the other.

Maybe I just break down and load the credit card...NOT!!!
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Old Sep 30th, 2005, 02:17 PM
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Hi Marigross, you are going to love Paris!

I’d like to recommend two books that will help you a lot while in Paris. The first one is a small (purse sized pamphlet) called “The Marling Menu-Master for France”. We have found it very useful for understanding French menus. The other book is called “Walking Paris” by Gilles Desmons. It has around thirty walks in and about Paris. It is very informative and the walks are nice. I think you can find both books at Amazon.

You are going to love Strasbourg, the Cathedral is beautiful and the food, as in all of France, is wonderful.

Don’t worry about not knowing French; just do as my husband does: start any conversation with Bon Jour! and follow with: Je ne parle pas francais, je parle ....anglais/espagnol.... (I do not speak french, I speak..english/spanish..). Said in a very nice way it works wonders. I also carry an English/French/English dictionary in my Palm and have used it a lot.

Enjoy your trip!
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Old Sep 30th, 2005, 02:52 PM
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..have a great time. I prpare by going to the library and looking at a number of guides and travelbooks..inc National Geographic, but the only one I bring is the Green Guide. I also suggest that as a single female try to stay in the 6th or 7th near the 6th. Don't change hotels as you will waste valuable time. There maybe a tendency to move outward from the center of the city, but I wouldn't as a single female. I want the freedom to walk home after site seing or an evening event without feeling uncomfotable (or springing for a taxi). Hopital Notre Dame does rent a few rooms which is right on Ile de la cite. I don't know if they are difficult to book. For last minute try ratestogo.com but only consider 1-8 and 16. Have a great time.
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